Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Panguni tradition that Mylaporeans keep

Dozens of Mylaporeans keep a Panguni festival tradition to this day.
Providing food to guests and people who head to Sri Kapali temple in Mylapore.

At Balasubramaniam's residence, this year marked the 101st year of this Panguni tradition. This Mylaporean is 92 years old and his daughter Revathi made arrangements to feed 750 people on Arabathumoovar day. 
Helping them is caterer N. S. Anandan who lives down the road.
The elai sapad menu included badhusha, medhu pakoda and jav-arisi payasam. Also on each banana leaf was a two-rupee coin.
"In the old days we used to feed over one thousand people and left a one-rupee coin for our guests," said Revathi, resident of Chitrakulam North Street.

S. Jamuna's family also keep this tradition at festival time. This East Mada Street resident, now 65 invited about 80 youths who carry the vahanams from the temple around the mada streets to a  special lunch at her residence.
Joining her were sisters Indira and Padma and sister-in-law Kalpana and others - to make and distribute 11 kilos of kesari  and 60 litres of buttermilk on Arabathumovar day.
"This is a tradition we love to carry on," says Jamuna.

Down the same street are this trio - Gomathi Mangalam, Jaya Gomathinayagam and Rajendran - want to expand their 15-year-old tradition.
One afternoon is reserved for Sri Kapali Temple priests - a puja and elai sapad during penguin fest. 
For arbathumoovar day, the trio arrange to cook puliogare and sweet and ven-pongal which is served to devotees from 8 am to 8 pm.

The biggest service is provided by late flutist Narayana Iyer's family of Mathala Narayana Street, off the Mangolai junction.
The menu list is much like the one you would want at a big, fat wedding - sweet and ven-pongal, brinji, sambhar and tomato rice, vegetable biryani, idli and sambhar, mixture and sweets and bread -channa. Cooked in parts over the whole day, spaces on the street are used for storing, slicing and cooking.
'This is a 110-year old tradition that Narayana Iyer's wife began in a small way, " said one family member. "Funds keep flowing from February onwards."
Their estimate is that 25,000 people line up at their food window on this small street on Arbathumoovar day.

The food is great and available in plenty. People need to avoid waste and dispose the leftovers and plates properly. This would make the celebration wow.


- Info inputs by R. Saravanan.

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